Flash Movie Review: Champions
YOGA TAUGHT ME LIFE IS ABOUT balance. For every challenge one encounters, a moment is needed to compensate for it. When I was working three jobs, I felt I was losing myself until I set up specific times for me to experience enjoyment/good feelings. My full-time job was demanding during the work week; by the time Friday night came around, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I found enjoyment curling into the corner of the couch and watching one of my favorite television series. Being an observer of the characters’ dilemmas and me not feeling responsible to fix things for them was in a weird way relaxing for me. I was able to shut down parts of my brain which helped me let go of the weeks’ worth of tension that had built up in my body. Also, stating the obvious here; another way for me to quickly relax is to watch a movie. As long as I had these “rest stops” squeezed in through the week, I felt like I was staying level. Luckily, one of my jobs was teaching fitness and yoga; so, I would always have a good feeling after class due to the endorphins getting produced or the visualization process and poses in class. FROM THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, I have seen other forms used for creating balance in one’s life. A friend of mine enjoys an alcoholic beverage in the evening, which they slowly sip while looking at historical images on their phone. Another friend I know dances to let go of their daily responsibilities and allow their body to release that day’s tension/anxieties. The things we use to create balance are not always static; they can evolve as we go through the growing process. Recently, I have discovered cooking and baking allow me to forget whatever is troubling to me and focus on the art of creating meals. It is funny because if you saw me, I can easily get stressed in the process since it is relatively new to me. But putting together a meal and sharing it with loved ones is something I have found to be a peaceful, loving relaxed experience. I do not remember where I heard this but to paraphrase, there is much to be gained when “breaking bread” with others. It is true and definitely contributes to keeping balance and good feelings in my life. I felt the same way watching this comedic sports drama because it was such a feel-good movie to me. DUE TO ANGER ISSUES, A BASKETBALL coach was transferred to a small town, where he was ordered to coach a group of players with intellectual disabilities in the art of basketball. There was a big learning curve for both, player and coach. With Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness, The Highwaymen) as Marcus, Kaitlin Olson (The Heat, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia-TV) as Alex, Matt Cook (Film Fest, Man with a Plan-TV) as Sonny, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters franchise, The Crow) as Coach Phil Perretti and Cheech Marin (Shotgun Wedding, The War with Grandpa) as Julio; this film’s story was predictable and basic. However, I still found it heartwarming and funny. Woody played one of his typical characters and I thought Kaitlin was a perfect match for him. It never seemed to me the writers were using the disadvantaged characters to get a laugh, making fun of them. They were respectful and shined a light on issues they experience on a daily basis with a touch of humor and compassion. This picture kept my interest throughout the story and as I mentioned before, it left me with such a feel-good moment that stayed for the rest of the day.
Flash Movie Review: Congo
DESPERATE, I TOLD MY FRIEND I did not want to stick my fingers in the bowling ball. Sure, it was dumb to say; but I did not want to go by myself to the charity event. My friend was involved with the charity and they were having an event at a bowling alley, having rented out the entire place. There was going to be food, a raffle, silent auction and some other things. The morning of the event my friend woke up sick. He called to tell me and insisted I still go though now I would not know a single person at the event. Our tickets were already paid for and he wanted me to go so I could tell him all about it, since he was on the committee for the event. I tried using a variety of excuses, even offering to drive all the way there just to scope out the place then leave; but he was not having any of it. Even the offer of bringing him dinner did not work. At some point I finally resigned to the fact that I had to go; but I told him to let me know if he started to feel better later in the day and If he wanted, I could come pick him up. Unfortunately, I wound up going to the bowling alley alone. THE DRIVE WAS UNEVENTFUL EXCEPT FOR my build up of dread. Because I am not the best in making small talk, I prefer going with someone to these events, especially when there is an activity that I must participate in. I knew I was going to have to be on a bowling team with a bunch of strangers; my anxiety was weighing heavily on me. Walking into the bowling alley I was assaulted with loud, booming music over the loudspeakers. The check-in process was easy; I got my name tag, raffle tickets and lane assignment. I went to get bowling shoes before going to my alley. The shoes I was handed looked newer gratefully than some of the shoes I saw behind the counter. As I got to my lane, I saw my teammates were already there. There was no choice but to go up to them and introduce myself. It did not go as bad as I expected; they all seemed friendly and familiar with each other. When the MC of the event came out to welcome everyone, I was relieved for the ending of our small talk. The MC went through the list of things planned then ended by telling us to have a good time as all the lanes lit up for action. On my first throw of the ball, the wildest thing happened; I rolled a strike. My teammates yelled praises at me; I felt a slight sense of relief. It turned out for the next 4 frames I threw strikes. I could not believe it, but it was such a welcome surprise because all the players around me were being supportive and encouraging. It was crazy and only the beginning for an awesome night of fun, topped with me winning one of the raffle prizes. Here I was not looking forward to going and instead had a great time; it was such a surprise. The characters in this action, adventure mystery experienced something similar by getting surprised; but, with way different results. AFTER HER FIANCE WENT MISSING DOCTOR Karen Ross, played by Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me, The Other Man) found an expedition that would take her to the Congo to look for him. Her travels would lead her to find something more. With Dylan Walsh (The Stepfather, The Lake House) as Dr. Peter Elliot, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters franchise, The Crow) as Captain Monroe Kelly, Tim Curry (The Hunt for Red October, The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as Herkermer Homolka and Grant Heslov (The Ides of March, Argo) as Richard; this film festival winner was based on the thrilling novel of the same name. Because computer graphics have gotten so much better, this movie looked so out of date. With the script jam packed with action as it tried to pour in as much from the novel as possible, the result was a cheesy mess. The highlight for me was seeing Laura Linney; she was able to command the scenes better than any of the other actors. I could see where the writers wanted to take the story, but sadly they failed. For those curious to see what special effects looked like before computer graphics, they may find this picture somewhat amusing. For the rest, they may be left groaning through most of the film.
1 ½ stars